Gilles
Gilles
Gilles

Gilles

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Gilles

Canadian driver Gilles Villeneuve emerged on the scene like a comet in the mid-70s. He won multiple Formula Atlantic championships and his skill and car control were extraordinary, earning him a legion of fans. In the era, the annual Formula Atlantic race at Trois-Rivires included star drivers from Europe brought in by the promoters. For the 1976 race McLaren driver James Hunt was invited to participate. After a weekend observing and losing to the young Canadian, Hunt returned to Europe singing Villeneuve's praise. McLaren team principle, Teddy Meyer added a third car to the team entry for the '77 British Grand Prix and Europe got to witness Villenuve's ability. For some inexplicable reason McLaren passed on Villeneuve, but Ferrari needed a replacement for Lauda and late in the season Gilles was a driver for Scuderia Ferrari. It took Villeneuve a while to settle in and for a period he was in danger of losing his Ferrari drive, but all came good at the '78 Canadian GP and Gilles took his first victory. South African join Ferrari as team leader for the '79 season and when the Scuderia introduced the 312T4 at the South African grand prix the driving duo went on a tear. The team's home race at Monza ended with a Ferrari 1-2 and Scheckter being crowned the season's driver champion. With championships won the grand prix circuit moved on to the 2 North American races. When the cars were let loose for the Friday practice session the circuit was soaked and the rain unrelenting. Villeneuve finish the afternoon session 9 seconds ahead of the second place driver.

Gilles captures Gilles Villeneuve driving the Ferrari 312T4s in Turn 7 during the '79 US GP East at Watkins Glen. Villeneuve won the race, his third of the season and earned him second in the 1979 World Driver Championship 4 points behind teammate Jody Scheckter.